I did it!
It is hard to describe the excitement and anticipation I felt leading up to the culmination of my goal to climb all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks. The anticipation of a child awaiting Santa Claus’ arrival comes close. I know I slept little the previous night – and would have headed out in the wee hours of the morning if I did not have two dear friends accompanying me once daylight arrived!
After climbing 42 of the 46 solo, it was wonderful to have friends join me for my final climb. There is a time to be alone and there is a time for sharing. This was most definitely a sharing time. We set off earlier than planned (thank you Nancy and Tom!) on an overcast, foggy morning. I was just happy the rains held off! In all my excitement, I left my brain behind – seriously! After numerous trips in to Marcy Dam over the past year, all of a sudden my mind was a complete blank when it came to a fork in the trail shortly after signing in. Lesson learned – no matter how many times I do a trial, I need to write each turn down! We did choose the correct trail and were on our merry way. Marcy Dam is a happy and sad place,. Sad because the beautiful dammed lake is no more and the bridge across it had been severed by Hurricane Irene last year. Happy because the mountains still loom overhead and hard-working people built a wonderful foot bridge across a short distance below the original dam bridge. Another lesson learned – nothing stays the same in the wilderness - don’t expect it to – that is one of the charms of “wilderness” – it is ever changing, ever-fascinating.
The trail up Tabletop mountain is not traveled often – I would hazard a guess that most people scurrying by on their way up to Mt Marcy do not even know it exists…I know the first time I climbed Marcy I never even saw the turn off. Shortly after turning off onto the herd path you begin to feel as if you are climbing up a narrow tunnel – there is no way you could miss the path – you are hemmed in by trees and branches on the top and sides and rocks and mud and roots abound below to capture ones feet. One you reach the summit ridge, it seems like finding the exact mountain peak will never happen – perhaps that was just my excitement at getting so close to my goal…perhaps it is because there is nothing to see but trees and more trees. But every mountain does have a peak – and soon enough my very vocal, excited, uncharacteristically loud “Whahoo” notified those coming around a bend behind me that I had arrived! I still cannot put into words what reaching this goal means to me…perhaps another blog at a later time will allow me to explore my thoughts once they have solidified more.
For now, I think Alison Wat says it all: “There’s an inconsequentiality to our lives that living in the wilderness shows up. Mountain are real, they set their limits, they set ours. They expose us, make us vulnerable and strong at the same time. “ Alison Wat in Solo: On Her Own Adventure, edited by Susan Fox Rogers.
Partners on the Climb
View from the Top - or Why More People do Not Climb Tabletop!